Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2009 Player Previews - Angel Guzman

Tell me if this sounds familiar? A can’t miss project with all the talent in the world has injury problems, a surgery and now is struggling. Who is it? Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, or Bobbie Brownlie. Well, all of those names could work, but we are talking about Angel Guzman today.

Guzman was touted since the Cubs signed him in 1999. Right off the bat, Guzman looked like a sure-fire prospect that was destined for greatness. He finally, arrived in 2006 and made 10 starts for Dusty Baker’s team. It didn’t go well, as he posted an 7.39 ERA in 56 innings, while walking 37.

Injuries caught up with him and he only pitched 40 innings in the next two seasons, including last year’s 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.
I would seriously consider getting out of the Cubs organization if I was a pitching prospect. It just doesn’t work out for the most part (Brownlie, Sisco, Veal to name a few).

Coming into the season, Guzman had a fair shot to win a bullpen spot. He still has a good fastball, but his control is still hurting him. Guzman has a 9.00 ERA in 8 innings so far this spring. Of course the main problem is that Guzman is out of options. The Cubs choices are carry him instead of somebody pitching well, placing him on waivers, or trading him. None of the choices are that great, and I have a feeling that Guzman will be sent packing before the Cubs break camp. Also, Lou Pinella stated that Chad Gaudin is still slated to start the year in the pen, even with his 10.03 ERA.

Right now the pen looks like this (if we carry 7 in the pen)

Closer/8th Inning – Carlos Marmol or Kevin Gregg
7th Inning – Aaron Heilman
Lefty – Neal Cotts
Long Man – Chad Gaudin and Luiz Vizcanio (Both make millions of bucks, so they are probably staying unless they come down with an injury.

With six guys already penciled in, that means there is 1spots left for Guzman, David Patton, Chad Fox, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Hart and Mike Stanton.

Stanton hasn’t been great this year, but he is lefty. Patton is a Rule-5 guy that has looked great. Hart is going back to Iowa. Fox is just a moment away from his arm falling off. Samardzija is probably the front-runner for one of the spots, but he could easily be headed back to Iowa to start as well.

So, if the Cubs don’t trade Guzman there is probably a 50/50 chance he makes the roster.

failed pitching prospects

You show me an organization without a bevy of failed pitching prospects and I'll show you an organization that doesn't exist.

In Guzman's defense, he's had 8 spring appearances and laid 2 eggs. 7 of his 8 runs, 6 of his 7 hits and all 3 of his walks have come in 2 appearances. Small sample size, but he's been horrid twice and pretty/very good 6 other times.

I'd send Samardzija and his options to Iowa to keep him as a starter. Spring stats aside, it's hard for me to see the Cubs keeping a Rule 5 guy like Patton on the 25man roster all year. Maybe if it were Pittsburgh or the Cubs had a crazy manager like Tony LaRussa who believes he's smarter than everyone else... but not for a team like the Cubs. All the kudos to Patton this spring, is lip service, I think.

6th inning

I'm feeling more and more better about our bullpen ever since Gregg had been doing great and I bet it had a lot to do with his knee surgery...I say keep Marmol where hes comfortable which would be a great 8 9 punch i feel heilman will be lights out in the 7th but based on the 6th inning idk about that if we keep the shark here i will but if we send him down guadin and vizcanio where gonna have to score 11 runs a night but I say if Patton has looked great then we go with him I h8 how the league is based off of how much money we pay someone or we need to fulfill ego's.

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